GOVERNMENT has directed millers in the country not to increase the prices of the mealie meal.
Agriculture and Livestock minister Given Lubinda said his Ministry had set-up an urgent meeting with the millers today to discuss the mealie meal prices and the wheat situation.
Mr Lubinda said in a press statement released in Lusaka yesterday that the Ministry would issue another statement on mealie meal prices and the wheat situation after the planned meeting is held.
“I wish to state that until this meeting is held, no miller should effect any increases on mealie meal prices. My Ministry will issue a further statement on Mealie Meal prices and the wheat situation after the planned meeting is held,” he said.
He said Government is concerned with the increasing prices of mealie meal and wheat and the confusion regarding the wheat situation in the country.
Meanwhile, the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) has welcomed the Government’s willingness to dialogue over mealie meal prices.
MAZ president Allan Sakala said in an interview yesterday that his association was ready to meet Mr Lubinda and other Government officials to discuss how mealie meal prices can be stabilised.
“We are happy with the Minister’s intention to dialogue over the price of mealie meal, as this is a meaningful approach to such issues.
“We actually wrote to the Ministry of Agriculture seeking audience with the Minister and we hope to meet with him at the earliest convenient time to exchange views on the maize milling and mealie meal marketing business in Zambia,” Mr Sakala said.
Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has also called on Government and MAZ to reach consensus over a favourable mealie meal price that will benefit consumers.
ZACA executive director Samuel Simutunda said in a separate interview that his association wanted government and the millers to work out a reasonable price for the commodity.
“All the economic prospects are favourable at the moment and this paves way for a much reasonable reduction in the price of consumer goods including mealie meal,” Mr Sakala said.